Monday, February 7, 2011

Salsa with a Kick!

Some people love chocolate.  I love chips and dip.  So when I ran out of my last liter of homemade salsa I knew it was time to make another double batch and "can" it.  Watch for my my next post for instructions on the canning process.


4 large cans of whole tomatoes
1 bunch of green onions
1 medium-sized onion
1 bunch of cilantro
3 cloves of garlic
2 limes
1 lemon
1/2 jar of sliced jalapeños and some juice
handful of salt
handful of pepper
handful of sugar
chips to eat

suggested tools: immersion blender or food processor

So it starts with tomatoes (of course).  Canned tomatoes are great...they are picked at their prime, peeled and preserved.  I'll often buy "store brands" but canned tomatoes are one thing that I stick to the name brands: Hunt's.  They're just hard to beat.  Since most people don't want the amount of salsa I crave, I'll just list out a single batch in this post.  But feel free to double if you're feeling frisky and daring enough to try the canning process. 

So, four LARGE cans of Hunt's whole tomatoes go in a large pot. (you'll see in the pic below there's a can of diced tomatoes because my grocery store was running low on whole biggie) 

Coarsely chop: 1 bunch of green onions, 1 medium-sized white onion, bunch of cilantro, 3 cloves of garlic. You don't have to worry about mincing anything since you will be using an immersion blender (or food processor) in a bit. 

Throw all of that in the pot with the tomatoes.

Add the juice of 2 limes and 1 lemon.  If you don't have a juicer like mine below, I would recommend it.  I asked Santa for one this Christmas and sure enough it ended up in my stocking! Now I can't believe that I used to juice lemons and limes by hand.... worth it! Oh, and I'd make sure to get a "lemon" juicer.  They are bigger than lime juicers and you can then use with both.  I think Santa had a little trouble finding one though... :) She's He's great! Yes, I'm 25.

You may have noticed the jalapeños in the pics above.  Definitely something we can't forget...the order just doesn't really matter.  So I use about half of a jar of sliced jalapeños with a couple Tablespoons of the juice.  You can obviously add more or less depending on your taste buds.  I would say this amount will make a "Medium" salsa.  

Time to season: salt and pepper.  I don't like to over-use salt but don't be shy here.  There's a lot of salsa to season.  This is about how much I used (sorry for the lack of measurements). 

One last little thing I add is sugar.  This comes from my mom's trick of adding sugar to her spaghetti sauce (I think this even came from her grandma).  There's something about sugar that brings out the taste of the tomatoes.  Also, it turns this salsa into a great balance of sweet and spicy. I used a big ole' handful.

Now it's time to start blending! I got this immersion blender a few years ago to use in soup recipes to puree.  Now I find every excuse to use this little, fun and easy clean-up gadget.  They vary in prices from $20-$100+.  I got the cheapest one I could find at Bed Bath and Beyond.  I even used one of those abundant 20% off coupons.  Save them, you'll find a reason to use them. 

If you don't have a one of these fun gadgets you can always use a food processor or blender, working in batches. 

And Viola!! Took less than a minute..and so fun!  Now is the time to taste many times as you need. Add salt, add sugar, add a little more jalapeños...whatever you want to float your boat and fit your taste buds.

Serve it up with a quick garnish of cilantro that you didn't get in the pot!


  1. Rachel, is this the same salsa you gave Jason last Christmas? It was SO yummy! And I'm definitely going to get one of those immersion blenders! There's a soup I like to make that I puree with a reg. blender & I hate the mess it makes, so thanks for the heads up! (BTW, your photos are incredible!)

  2. Yes, this is the salsa I gave Jason! I'm glad you liked it. His may have been a bit spicier than the recipe above. You can adjust it to your liking. Also, recommended by my mom and blake, I added the ingredients at the top to make it easier to create your list. Lastly, at the bottom of each post you will see a "print" button. You can print the whole post with pics, without pics, or just the ingredients!

  3. Rachel, I am a friend of Lauren's mother (Sandy). We met at KU and again when Lauren moved to DC. Lauren gave me your website, and I'm lovin' the recipes! The pictures are great and helpful, and the chicken salad is outstanding! Thanks for being a good cook! :)

    Jo Lynn Ganann

  4. Hi Rachel,

    It is your mom, finally. I want to try the smoked salmon spread. I used to make a salmon ball that was Mimi's recipe. Katrina and I used to make cheese balls at Hickory Farms when were about 14, but got fired because we couldn't make them fast enough! I love you and can't wait to see you this weekend.

  5. This is soooo good! I’d love to can it!!!


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